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This week, I’m attending the #smwone Virtual Conference. It’s been a pretty remarkable learning opportunity so far, but it’s also taking about 9 hours a day. So I’ll be doing a “just the facts” edition of Vanity this week, as there’s still news trickling out that worth hitting your inbox with. A lot of it Facebook-related. Let’s get to it.
Perhaps the biggest deal this week, Instagram is launching direct monetization options for creators on its platform. One of those options is “badges” viewers can buy during live streams at $1, $2, and $5 options. For now, you’ll keep 100% of the transaction.
… secondly, the platform will start running (pre-roll) ads in IGTV (we knew this was on it’s the way), with 55% of the revenue staying with the creator. All of this is in closed testing with a select group of deep-pocketed brands like Sephora, Puma, and Ikea. Details from Variety.
Facebook has been on a roll with new apps, and here’s two more. Venue is designed to be a second-screen hub for live events. It’s not a spot to actually watch events, but a spot to converse, curated and hosted by a related professional (think sports commentator or journalist. It’s a lot like Twitter Moments but in real-time. I can see media outlets and journalists taking full advantage of this.
Coming from Facebook’s NPE lab is Collab. The app is designed to let musicians collaborate together (but apart) on creating music. The app is iOS only for now, and invite-only, but you can put yourself on the waitlist here. Product demo video time!
Facebook ran a national TVC touting a seemingly organic Facebook Group (the ad is a booster for Groups), but a deeper look shows the “posts” in the 6.5M ad buy are a combination of stock photos and public posts from current and former employees - none of which actually belonged to the group - but were mocked to look like they did. Sketchy. Plenty of brands use stock photos, but this feels different. Do you think this qualifies as “deceptive” to you? Let me know in a comment below!
Scheduling tweets is coming to the Tweet composer (looks to be on desktop). This feature was currently only available to brands through Twitter Studio. H/T to Matt Navarra, who confirmed it also works with scheduling re-tweets.
If you think that the movement away from mass following and mega celebs isn’t a real thing (which I’ve talked about many times in past issues) here’s someone smarter than me to say it again. NYT’s Ben Smith looking at the huge growth of “The Passion Economy”. Platforms like Patreon, Substack (hello!), Shopify, and Udemy (and Canadian musician Dan Mangan’s Side Door) show how notable figures are self-monetizing their value, and it’s showing results…
For example, newcomer Cameo is blowing up in this strange season because “every celebrity is really a gig economy worker”. Cameo allows users to purchase personalized video messages from notable people. The app has seen purchases explode from 9000/week to over 70,000/week since January.
A sobering reminder of the saturation levels for content on Instagram Stories. 0.04% CTR - and lower the more followers you gain. A browse through the thread shows Matthew is referring to organic content here. What’s your take on organic vs paid? Do you think you can go it alone with organic, or is it pay to play? Or both? I wanna hear your, “yeah, but…”, drop a comment.
As live streams continue to gain popularity on social, platforms are upping their policing actions on copyrighted material. Instagram (blog post here) is trying to make sure you don’t get content yanked with no warning by rolling out notifications on live streams to help you kill the unlicenced music before your stream is muted or taken offline.
Facebook’s Creator Studio is great. The app version was not, since it didn’t let you, you know, actually create anything. Not anymore! Facebook is rolling out new features to the Creator Studio App that includes post creation and more options for video uploads. Do you make content for your brands from mobile? Ready to jump into Creator on your phone? Personally, I don’t, but let me know if it works for you in the comments.
Remember when Twitter announced Fleets, and everyone freaked out and then moved on to the next thing? Well, Twitter is ready to start expanded testing the Stories-copycat from Brazil to Italy. While Twitter says it’s seeing fewer cases of abuse on Fleets, it’s also cautioning there’s no guarantee it’s going to be a permanent feature.
Facebook is updating its Slack competitor, Workplace, with Portal and Portal TV integration, and “Rooms” that can seat up to 50 video attendees. If you work for a company that already makes up it’s 5 million subscribers, like Walmart, Starbucks, or Spotify, this might make meetings a little better.
Facebook’s nastiness has been out of the news for a while (because things have been on fire), but this story shows that they still have a long way to go to be considered off the hook when it comes to being at the forefront of shaping online interactions in a bad way. Evidence has started to surface that Facebook knew it’s recommendation algorithms were driving division and hatred, but senior executives shut down potential fixes. Facebook looks to have prioritized any activity, good or bad, over the content and negativity it fosters. “Any press is good press”, right?
"64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools," with most people joining at the suggestion of Facebook's "Groups You Should Join" and "Discover" algorithms.
Ryan LaFlamme has worked in social media marketing and advertising for longer than the job had a title. He formed the independent social consultancy Hub and Spoke in 2016, and can be found hanging out on Twitter @ryanlaf Now accepting new clients and speaking engagements.